Joe Biden and Mexico’s president vow to cooperate on immigration

The two leaders in a phone call “discussed working together on a new approach to regional migration that offers alternatives to undertaking the dangerous journey to the United States,” a summary of the call provided by Mr Biden’s team said.

The two leaders said they shared a desire to address the reasons for migration in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and southern Mexico.

Mr Biden pledged to build “the regional and border infrastructure and capacity needed to facilitate a new orderly and humane approach to migration that will respect international norms regarding the treatment of asylum claims,” the statement from Mr Biden’s team said.

Earlier this week Mr Lopez Obrador suggested the two neighbours under Mr Biden’s new Democratic administration work together on the thorny issue of immigration.

Republican President Donald Trump’s unprecedented demands that the Mexican government do more to reduce the flow of US-bound migrants, including harbouring migrants in Mexico while they wait for their US court dates and paying for a border wall, caused friction in the relationship.

Mr Biden emphasised the need to reinvigorate US-Mexico cooperation on migration as well as the coronavirus pandemic, the economy and border security.

“We reaffirmed our commitment to working together for the well-being of our peoples and nations,” Mr Lopez Obrador said on Twitter.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard tweeted: “There will be extensive bilateral cooperation and a very good relationship between the presidents of Mexico and the United States.”

A Mexican government source told Reuters that Mr Biden and Mr Lopez Obrador also spoke about investment for development and respect for the Mexican community in the United States.

The leaders of Latin America’s two biggest economies, Brazil and Mexico, congratulated Mr Biden on Tuesday, the day after the US Electoral College confirmed Mr Biden’s 3 November election win. The long delay ignited criticism they were running the risk of alienating Mr Biden and his fellow Democrats. 


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